C.J. Edwards, RHP, Cubs (Mesa): 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K. Since coming over to the Cubs farm system in the midst of his breakout 2013 campaign, Edwards has been unfairly pegged as the leader of a lackluster group of Cubs pitching prospects. He may be one of their better arms in a farm system dominated by impact bats, but there are major questions about his ability to remain a starter. He’s had success, but shoulder inflammation kept him to just 53 2/3 innings this year, which doesn’t help ease concerns about his durability.
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scottsdale): 2-4, R, HR. Judge didn’t just hit a home run, he crushed one, which he’s perfectly capable of doing given his tremendous size and strength. I’ve noted before that he doesn’t sell out for his power, which gives him a remarkably balanced approach for such a tall hitter and bodes well for his future development. He’ll run into plenty of home runs because he’s so strong, but he’ll be better suited being the all-around hitter he’s attempting to be.
Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Surprise): 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, 2 K. Few prospects get more rave reviews for their hit tool than does Williams, and perhaps none have a worse K:BB ratio. It’s an incredible dichotomy that will eventually find its breaking point, or at least, so one would think. I’ve said before, the Adam Jones profile is difficult to pull off, but it can be done with extreme talent, and Williams has exactly that. He continues to hit at every level, which increases the odds that he’ll be able to do it at the highest levels. He’ll get his biggest test yet in 2015 when he spends the majority of the year in Double-A.
D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners (Surprise): 1-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, K. Some player development decisions are quite complicated and involve factors that we simply aren’t privy to. Others are quite simple. Peterson is a third baseman and recent college draft pick who is poised to move quickly and isn’t all that strong defensively. He plays in an organization whose best hitter is a young third baseman who isn’t going anywhere. Peterson has also seen some time at first base. Where do you think he’ll end up?
Francellis Montas, RHP, White Sox (Glendale): 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Montas has the stuff that any pitcher would kill for, including a fastball that sits in the high-90s and can reach triple-digits and the potential for a plus slider. That, plus a delivery with effort in it and the lack of anything offspeed puts him in the late-inning reliever boat, but the White Sox are grooming him as a starter for now. That may be just an attempt to get him more innings, however, as he’s almost certainly a reliever—albeit a very good one, with lockdown closer potential—down the road.
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